By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Almost two months after being critically wounded in an automobile accident that killed one colleague and wounded another, the Prentiss County school superintendent was present at the school board’s regular meeting Tuesday.
Although Superintendent Randle Downs still has a period of recuperation to go and has not returned to a regular schedule, he expects to spend a few hours each week catching up on what is happening in the district. Wheeler High School Principal Todd Swinney continues as acting superintendent.
Downs and Luke Ledbetter, federal programs coordinator, were injured Aug. 22 in an auto accident that killed Jason McKinney, curriculum coordinator and transportation director. Ledbetter returned to work several weeks ago.
A plaque presented to Marietta School in recognition of its outstanding performance as a Star school on the state school rankings also recognized McKinney’s contribution to academic improvement at schools throughout the district.
“Mr. McKinney really pushed all the schools beyond what many of the teachers thought they could do,” said school board member Steve Taylor. “This is twice in six years Marietta has achieved this accomplishment and it helped make us a High Performing district.”
Marietta Principal Cathy Trimble, accompanied to the meeting by many of the teachers, thanked the board for the recognition and also noted the school’s appreciation for McKinney’s efforts.
“We’re honored to dedicate this star in his memory,” Trimble said “The entire faculty and staff worked very, very hard.”
Also improving a level to High Performing were New Site High School and Hills Chapel School. Board member Lisa Slack congratulated each of the schools that have done this outstanding work.